Meeting Report from ICAR2019

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Published on: July 11, 2019

Gina Garzón Martínez, Aberystwyth University

Four days full of knowledge, innovative research, interesting culture this is what summarizes my time at the ICAR2019, Wuhan, China.

Thanks to the Gatsby foundation and GARNet, I had the opportunity to attend the ICAR2019 conference in Wuhan, China. The meeting was hosted by the Huazhong Agricultural University-a partnership University which I also managed to visit during my stay in Wuhan.

Mornings at ICAR2019 started with a plenary sessions leading by scientists from Asia, Australia, USA and Europe who delighted us with their latest work in Arabidopsis. In particular, I found interesting a plenary session called “From Models to Crops”, where Barry Pogson from Australia showed us the importance of translational genetics. As an example, he showed us drought stress regulators discovered in Arabidopsis that also play a role in a range of crop plants such as wheat.

Barry Pogson gave a fantastic talk!

Every afternoon, there were concurrent sessions and more interesting talks given by PI researchers and early career scientists from all around the world. Of particular interest to me were the talks on the use of Arabidopsis to elucidate biotic and abiotic interactions. As an example, Lin Li from Fudan University gave a good talk about how the transcription factor PHY7 is involved in shade avoidance response when plants compete with their neighbours. Also, Ling Li from Mississippi State University shared with us her work in a starch gene with great potential to improve protein and disease resistance in other crops such as rice, soybean and corn, using innovative strategies.

Poster Session

At the end of the day, there was a poster session and a range of different workshops. I really enjoyed the workshop called “Communicating your science to the broader community” organized by Isabel Mendoza (Global Plant Council) and including Geraint Parry (GARNet) and Mary Williams (ASPB). This workshop gave me ideas of how I can increase the impact of my work by using social media and how to share my work not only to the scientific community but also to the regular public. Thanks to this workshop I gained more encouragement to be more active in social media, considering the importance of sharing my work with others at this stage of my PhD.

I really encourage all PhD students to not miss this kind of opportunities of networking, learning, sharing your work, along with having a cultural experience and making friends from other parts of the world. Next year, ICAR2020 will be held in the USA, followed by Belfast, UK in 2021, so I already recommend you to book some time off in your calendar and prepare for another productive and exciting week of science!

Gina with her poster
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